Six military personnel get lengthy jail terms for beating and humiliating a group of recruits.

The Military Board of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan has considered criminal proceedings instituted against them and sentenced them to prison terms between 9 ½ and 11 ½ years on May 30, a representative of the military court of the Khujand garrison told Asia-Plus in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

He refrained from giving further details of the case.

Recall, the Military Board of the Supreme Court of Tajikistan began to consider criminal proceedings instituted against five soldiers and an officer, who are charged with bullying and hazing on May 24.  

Five soldiers – Jonibek Qosimov, Fakhriddin Azimov, Azamjon Kamolov, Mahmadnazar Nozimov and Hojiakbar Saifulloyev – and Lieutenant-Colonel Nuzhat Lazuriyev stood the trial for beating conscripts.     

The soldiers were charged with “violation of the statutory rules of relations between military personnel in the absence of a relationship of subordination between them” (Article 373 (2) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code) and criminal proceedings against the chief of the border commandant's office “Vorukh” of military unit 0215 deployed in Sughd’s Isfara district, Lieutenant-Colonel Nuzhat Lazuriyev, were instituted under the provisions of article 391 (3) of Tajikistan’s Penal Code – abuse of power or office, excess of official or service authority or inaction of power, causing grave consequences.  

Meanwhile, Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, reported yesterday that eight servicemen were jailed for bullying and hazing.   

Lieutenant-Colonel Nuzhat Lazuriyev and three soldiers – Hojiakbar Saifulloyev, Azamjon Kamolov and Shamsullo Yusupov – were reportedly sentenced to 11 ½ years in prison each.

Four other soldiers – Jonibek Qosimov, Fakhriddin Nozimov, Mahmadnazar Nozimov and Sunatullo Kholmatov – were sentenced to 9 ½ years in prison each, according to Radio Ozodi.

Five soldiers of military unit 0215 were detained on April 24.  The announcement came hours after a video showing a group of soldiers beating and humiliating a group of recruits appeared on the Internet and caused a public outcry just as conscription to mandatory two-year service in Tajikistan started.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said on April 24 that five soldiers were detained and they face a charge of violating military regulations on relations between personnel.   

Bullying and hazing -- sometimes with lethal consequences -- have been a serious problem in Tajikistan. 

In a national report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the Government of Tajikistan reportedly noted that more than 100 soldiers died during the from 2019 to 2021 mainly due to hazing in the army.